I'm not feeling well - where should I go?

Cartoon mother and baby

Depending on your illness, there are a number of places you can go for healthcare in South Canterbury. Remember registering with a general practice is really important for you and your family as they are able to develop a relationship with you over time and therefore have a better understanding of your unique healthcare needs.

After-hours GP: If you are feeling unwell after hours, you can call your normal GP surgery and the call will be redirected to the after-hours service. This means the call will be answered by a registered nurse who can make a clinical assessment over the phone and help you determine the best options for your care.

Remember: The emergency department is for critical or life-threatening situations.

Condition / illnessWhere to get care
Grazed knee, sore throat, coughs?Self care: Be sure to stock up your medicine cabinet with pain killers, bandages and antiseptic creams.
Diarrhoea, runny nose, painful cough, headache?Pharmacies: Your local pharmacy can provide confidential health advice and treatment. There is no need to make an appointment.
Vomiting, ear pain, sore belly, backache, cuts, sprains, itchy rash, strain?General Practice (GP): If you are not yet registered with a local practice you should do so as soon as possible. Remember it is free for children under 13 to see the doctor.
Heavy bleeding, broken bones, burns, chest pain, trouble breathing?Emergency Department: The emergency department should be used in an emergency for critical or life-threatening situations. If you cannot travel yourself, you should dial 111 for an ambulance.

Still not sure? 

  • 0800 611 116: Healthline is a free phone number staffed by experienced registered nurses. Over the phone they ask you questions about the symptoms, condition or illness you’re ringing about. From your answers, they’ll recommend the best thing to do.
  • HealthInfo has trustworthy health information specific to the South Canterbury region, written and approved by Doctors, Nurses and Healthcare professionals.